Pin It
Favorite

Point-Counterpoint 

by ANDREW MATSON & r & & r & & lt;span class= & quot;dropcap & quot; & W & lt;/span & ired 96.9 has been playing an awful lot of "Let It Roll" by Seattle rap group Steelo lately. Since corporate radio rarely, if ever, plays under-the-radar artists, that's odd. Weirder still, they'll be 96.9's on-air guests the same day they play Wired's showcase at the Spokane County Interstate Fair. All of which led us to wonder: "Who are these guys?" we found out, and we're all conflicted about it.





POINT Steelo sucks.


Comprised of A. Uno and Bobby K., Steelo make hip-hop you've heard a million times.





A. Uno raps like a cake from Safeway: bland and tasteless. He keeps the clich & eacute;s coming a mile a minute. Clothes, bankrolls and hoes appears to be all he knows. Not only is the content lacking, but Uno's cadence is embarrassingly simple and his duo-chromatic delivery (two styles: normal or extra-breathy) sounds contrived. Sincere? Maybe. Clever? Oh, hell no. Everything A. Uno has to say has been said by much better lyricists.





Bobby lays down whiny R & amp;B vocals like sickly-sweet frosting. He can't sing, yet is audibly self-satisfied, crooning with a swagger that would only make sense if he were Ne-Yo. Instead, he barely stays in key and sings out of his nose.





The beats are clich & eacute;s of clich & eacute;s. No-talent "beat-boxing" for a MySpace faux-freestyle? Sexy, Spanish-style classical guitar for a trunk-thumper about, um, riding around in a car? Neptunes rip-offs for tracks about one-night stands? It all adds up to "boring."





There is nothing Steelo can offer that will make hip-hop seem like the exciting, vital art form it can be. Even if you just want some background music to ignore while you clean the house, you'd do better to turn on BET.





COUNTERPOINT Steelo is pretty good.





Obviously aiming for radio play, the vocals sound like they're supposed to: clean and compressed. Bobby sings every bit as well as mainstream hook-artists Pharell and Chris Brown, and maybe a little bit better. A. Uno raps on the beat with a smooth baritone, maintaining a cool, collected front to let the back end bang like crazy.





A. Uno and Bobby K. obviously care about production values. Their songs are well-recorded, mixed, and maybe even mastered. The beats are dope, hit hard on whatever subs are woofing, and shrewdly interpolate current hits into hybrid future-smashes.





It's business-savvy hip-hop done by dudes with a goal: Get known.





Steelo put money where its mouth was and is and they anted up for some serious studio time. Guess what? It shows. Pre-production, production and post-production are in full effect: The hooks are there, the vocals are tight, and the total package is glistening with pop shine.





THE VERDICT


A. Uno and Bobby have nothing to say, but there is something to be said for them: They put serious effort into their product, it shows, people are responding, and they're traveling to the places where they make an impact.





Say what you will about the songs, these guys are doing some things right.





Steelo will be on Wired 96.9 on Saturday, Sept. 15, at 3 pm and at the Spokane County Interstate Fair later that night at 10 pm.
  • Pin It

Latest in Comment

  • Class Act
  • Class Act

    Seeing through money differences can build relationships focused on fairness
    • Sep 22, 2016
  • Don's Ultimate Con
  • Don's Ultimate Con

    Trail Mix: Trump's birther problems and Johnson's polls
    • Sep 22, 2016
  • Transparent Motives
  • Transparent Motives

    One candidate's an open book; the other is shrouded in secrecy. Guess which one isn't transparent enough
    • Sep 22, 2016
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue
Bodies Human: Anatomy in Motion

Bodies Human: Anatomy in Motion @ Mobius Science Center

Tuesdays-Sundays. Continues through Dec. 31

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by n/a

  • Iron Upgrade
  • Iron Upgrade

    The new one is smart and funny and action-packed, and it’s bigger and better and sleeker. And Downey does it again, this time ramping up Stark’s arrogant wisecracking, telling anyone who’ll listen (mostly women) that, via the creation of his powerful Iron Man suit, he’s brought years of uninterrupted peace to the world.
    • May 12, 2010
  • Seeing Gay
  • Seeing Gay

    A festival showing GLBT from all angles
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • Get Out the Vote
  • Get Out the Vote

    With all the uncertainty in the world these days, hot wings and cold beer are two things we can get behind
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • To Kill the Black Snake

    Historic all-tribes protest at Standing Rock is meant to stop the destruction of the earth for all
    • Sep 8, 2016
  • Murrow's Nightmare

    Debate moderators need to be much more than an onstage prop to make our democracy work
    • Sep 15, 2016
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment

election 2016


trail mix


Briefs


green zone


marijuana


Readers also liked…

  • To Kill the Black Snake
  • To Kill the Black Snake

    Historic all-tribes protest at Standing Rock is meant to stop the destruction of the earth for all
    • Sep 8, 2016
  • Planning a Heist
  • Planning a Heist

    Believe what many Idaho legislators are saying: They want to turn our public lands private
    • May 26, 2016

© 2016 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation